Beach! Beach!

Say it with pep!This kid danced along the shore back and forth, jumping as the waves touched her toes. I don’t think she stood still for any longer than 20 seconds. She was a quick sketch dream. Plus she reminded me of me, making her awesome, adorable and most likely wicked smart too.
Story time: Every once in a while in NYC you come a cross a horrid woman. You New Yorkers know what I mean. You reality television watchers know what I mean too…a horrid woman. Yesterday we unassumingly put our beach blankets down next to one such specimen. I was excited about where we were sitting because we ended up behind a bunch of girls who were built like models. You know that’s my shtick.Unfortunately the horrid woman was kind of obsessed with the garments (or lack of) of said models. She just sat there and heckled them all day along with screaming idol threats about going home. The main thing the horrid woman took offense at was the string bikinis the girls were wearing. The list of epithets she used went in a constant loop covering four main points:

  1. If she wanted to see someones coo-coo she’d watch some porn
  2. What do you bet they don’t sit down all day?
  3. They were giving her kids an anxiety attack!
  4. You can totally see her ass!!! Doesn’t she know we can totally see her ass?!!
My main points were as follows:

  1. These bodies were not porn bods. These bodies were high class Yves Saint Laurent.
  2. They did sit down from time to time to apply sexy sunscreen, play sexy cards, etc.
  3. On several occasions I heard horrid woman trying to point out to her kids what she was talking about.
  4. The string bikini babes did know. They knew very well. I was left alone to watch our blanket and beach stuff while everyone went on a food run. The horrid woman got up. I could feel her get up because she kicked some sand into the wind and more sand took flight as the heckling got closer. Then there was yelling in my ear. The yelling went like this: “What are you drawing?!!” At this point I was sketching the bikini babes as they reapplied their SPF 80.
“Oh MY Gawwwwwwwd!,” drawled the horrid woman as she reached out a sand crusted finger to point from my sketchbook to the beach bums and back again. “Oh my effing gaaaaaaaaawwd!!! You should show this to them so they can see how TRASHY they look!” She yelled this at me and then stuck the same sandy finger into her mouth to better pick her teeth with.

Encouraged by my effort to ignore her she stepped onto my beach blanket and kneeled next to me. I closed my eyes and prayed for the strength to keep my composure. While my eyes were closed she reached out and grabbed my sketchbook! We struggled. All the while she yelled variations on “Show that girl what her ass looks like!!!”
One of my rules of drawing in plein air is stealth. If I’m drawing someone I never want them to know that I am drawing them.They get all weird and try to pose or they want to keep the drawings or they want to chat my ear off about how their cousin’s wife is an artist, etc. I held onto my book with an iron grip of death. This became a Warner Brother/Judy Blume moment as we starred each other down each pulling in opposite directions.

I was finally tussled into speaking. I said:
“They look great. This is my book!”
profound I know. You see what you can come up staring down a horrid woman who’s trying to steal your sketchbook! She finally let go and I rolled across my blanket like a ladybug flicked off a leaf. I righted myself as the horrid woman got up and brushed her sandy hands against her thighs. She stepped off the blanket. “Finally,” I thought, relieved. Oh but NO! She stepped off the blanket, walked behind me and…..wait for

That’s right folks. Apparently as artists and bystanders we risk being spanked any moment we go out into society. Who’d have thunk it? I just curled my knees under my chin and resumed sketching.
Rule #1: If you’re a 5’4″ brunette with ink on your fingers and a pencil in your hair you’re not going to stand a chance in any altercation with a horrid Amazonian/Long Island lizard-skin woman. She was the bear. I curled into a ball hoping that if I ignored her she would go away. Sure enough, it worked! Her parting words as she stomped back to her lounge chair were
“You would love my EX!!! He’s an ASS too!!!!”

Later that evening I slipped in some detergent at a department store and ended up in the ER. It was an exciting day. Yay for sketchbooks and cute derrieres for which to show off, spank and fall on.

5 replies »

  1. SHE SPANKED YOU??–ahahahahaa. I can't believe that, even for a crazy NY'er. Freakin' awesome, man. I'm sorry, and you must have felt violated, but such a great story!

  2. Oh.
    This is an amazing story.
    Only in NY right? You can't make this stuff up. This is a classic for the memoirs, girl. I can't believe you were actually spanked by a horrid lizard skinned foul mouthed Long Island ex-wife of an ass man. I just can't.
    Only after attempts were made on your sketchbook.
    An actual tug of war.
    Seattle-beachgoers have no idea how lucky we are here in our bizarrely polite little world, where horrid individuals are mostly just passive-aggressive and often even sideways-ly apologetic for their horridness.
    I feel bad to be laughing so hard at your bizarre and unfortunate beach experience. But this is an awesome story.
    I think the department store accident was a gift from the Universe to knock all her bad juju clean off your behind. It took a hard bonk to knock it off…and any medical attention you received in the ER only helped cleanse you of remaining particles of her evil scourge that might have been lingering.
    I hope your bottom is feeling much better now…thanks for the great story.

  3. As I read the story I kept thinking oh…the punch line or “gotcha” would be showing up any second…but no.

    We have our share of horrid hoosiers in Indiana…just don't have that many string bikini models! LOL

    Great story…thanks for sharing.

  4. OMG. I truly cannot believe that is a true story. Horrid barely describes her. And though I mentioned my fear of drawing in public I've never had anything CLOSE to this happening. Kudos to you for holding your composure.

    You also have another career in writing short stories. 🙂

    And love your sketches by the way! And the asses.

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